White House communications official Bill Shine is pushing back on reports that he banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a Rose Garden event, calling on reporters to ask her if the word "ban" was ever used.
"You ask her if we ever used the word 'ban,'" Shine said to reporters outside the White House early Thursday.
Shine was asked what word he used instead, but did not answer directly.
"When you ask her if we ever use the word 'ban,' then I will answer that," he said.
WH Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine disputed reports that he "banned" @kaitlancollins from the Rose Garden event. "Could you ask her if we ever used the word ban?" he told reporters. She said it was made clear she could not cover the event because of her questions earlier. pic.twitter.com/Mp9RMdLeJL— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 26, 2018
The pushback from Shine, a former Fox News senior executive who joined the administration earlier this month as deputy chief of staff for communications, comes after Collins repeatedly shouted questions about President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and Russian President Vladimir Putin during Trump's Oval Office meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said in a statement that Collins was barred from a subsequent Rose Garden event because she "shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so."
CNN said on Wednesday that Collins spoke at a normal volume when asking questions, adding that the White House's decision to bar its reporter from a Rose Garden event were not "indicative of an open and free press."
"Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn't mean the question isn't relevant and shouldn't be asked," the network said. "This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better."
Fox News anchor Bret Baier notably voiced the network's support for CNN and Collins.
"As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access," Baier said on Wednesday night's "Special Report."
The White House and CNN have often been at odds in the past. The president has repeatedly referred to the network's reporting as "fake news" and has not appeared on CNN in nearly two years going back to his candidacy.
Sanders has often sparred with the network's chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, at daily press briefings.
The Hill has reached out to Shine for further comment.